Chef Taibe uses a knife to create a few shallow slash marks on each side of the fish, which allows the heat to enter and the fish to cook evenly. If you can’t find black bass in your area, you can substitute striped sea bass or red snapper. For more grilling tips, watch our video How to Grill Fish.
Grilled Black Bass with Celery Salsa Verde
- 1 small shallot, finely chopped (about 1 cup)
- 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
- Kosher salt
- 2 whole striped or black bass (about 1-1/4 lb. each), scaled and gutted, heads, tails, and fins left intact
- 1/4 cup olive oil; more for the grill
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 1 lemon, sliced into 6 thin slices
- Cooking spray
- 1/2 cup coarsely chopped mixed herbs, such as parsley, dill, chives, tarragon, and lovage
- 3 stalks celery, from the heart, with leaves, chopped (about 1 cup)
- 2 Tbs. white wine vinegar
- 1/2 tsp. granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- Heat a gas or charcoal grill to medium high (400°F to 475°F).
- In a medium bowl, combine the shallot, lemon juice, and salt to taste. Let sit 30 minutes.
- Meanwhile, rinse the fish inside and out and pat dry with paper towels. Brush the inside cavities of the fish with 1 tsp. of the olive oil and season generously with salt and pepper. Place 3 slices of the lemon inside each cavity.
- Generously spray both sides of an open 11-x 16-inch fish grill basket with cooking spray. Carefully transfer the fish onto the grill basket, placing them side by side facing in the same direction. Close and lock the grill basket. Generously brush both sides of the exterior of the fish through the grill basket with the remaining olive oil and season to taste with salt and pepper. (Alternatively, if you don’t have a fish grill basket, you can secure the lemon-stuffed bodies of the fish lightly with butcher’s twine. Be sure your grill and the fish are well oiled before cooking.
- Brush and oil the grill. Transfer the fish to the grill and cook, undisturbed, until the skin begins to sear and grill marks appear, about 4 minutes. Carefully turn the fish over and continue to grill until they are just cooked through, about 4 minutes more. Remove the fish from the grill to a rimmed baking sheet, tent tightly with foil, and let rest for 10 minutes.
- To finish the celery salsa verde, add the herbs, celery, vinegar, sugar, and the extra virgin olive oil to the bowl with the shallots. Whisk to combine and season to taste with additional salt and pepper.
- To serve, place on a large oval platter topped with the Celery Salsa Verde.